Where to find deals during Jersey Shore Restaurant Week
Here's your chance to explore new restaurants at the shore...for a cheaper price than usual.
Nearly 90 eateries in Monmouth and Ocean counties have prepared menus of discounted three-course meals as part of Jersey Shore Restaurant Week.
The campaign, which starts Friday and runs through April 22, lets businesses show off their culinary talents and may encourage diners to experience restaurants they haven't heard about or visited.
"We're in a shopping center and people might not realize that we're here," said Anthony MacLachlan, sous chef at Social 37 in Toms River. "We want to be able to not only promote ourselves but allow people to have another dining option that they may not be familiar with, as well as give them a value when they're here."
For $32.18, guests of the modern American restaurant get their choice of an appetizer, entree and dessert. You could start with an order of BBQ pork belly & grits, pair it with a fire-roasted half-chicken, and finish the night with brownie ala mode. Or begin with a Belgian onion soup, followed by an entree of cedar plank salmon and creme brulee for dessert.
"We took some of our top-selling items and some of the new items off of our spring menu that we launched two weeks ago," MacLachlan said.
With the special pricing, you're essentially getting dessert and coffee for free, he said.
The specially-selected three-course meals will run customers $22.18 or $32.18 during Restaurant Week. Some establishments will not feature the discounted pricing on weekend nights.
The first Restaurant Week in 2009 drew participation from 56 restaurants, according to the event's website. Its list for 2018 includes 89 restaurants — more than 10 are participating for the first time.
The Rum Runner in Sea Bright is running its first Restaurant Week promotion since reopening after Sandy. Everything on their price-fixed menu has been created just for Restaurant Week.
Appetizer choices include roasted oysters, cheddar cheese tater tots and a roasted portobello mushroom. Crab-infused baked macaroni, a smoked pork chop, and chorizo-crusted local porgy make up their choice of entrees. Dessert options include NY-style cheesecake, chocolate mousse and a chocolate hazelnut milkshake.
"It's our way of saying thank you to everyone who's come in here and supported us since we've reopened," said Brian Carlson, assistant general manager of the riverfront eatery. "And absolutely we think it's going to bring new faces into the building."
Carlson said guests could save $20 to $30 by taking advantage of the Restaurant Week menu.